The University of Central Lancashire has cancelled an “Israel Apartheid Week” event on its campus because of its anti-Semitic orientation.
The University of Central Lancashire has cancelled an event which was due to take place as part of “Israel Apartheid Week” on its campus because of its anti-Semitic orientation, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The anti-Israel event, which is usually fraught with lies about the Jewish state, included a panel about boycotting Israel featuring anti-Israel activist Ben White and pro-Palestinian academics.
A spokesperson for the university said that the activities contravened the definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the British government and was “unlawful.”
“The UK government has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s new definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism. We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events, where we require assurances of a balanced view or a panel of speakers representing all interests,” the spokesman stated.
“In this instance our procedures determined that the proposed event would not be lawful and, therefore, it will not proceed as planned,” he underscored.
Last June, 31 countries, including the UK, voted to adopt a new working definition of anti-Semitism that includes anti-Zionism, a move hailed by human rights activists as an important milestone in countering hatred.
The definition describes anti-Semitism as “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” that can also target the State of Israel.
The definition clearly notes that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.” But accusations of dual loyalty and the use of double standards against the Jewish state, as well as tenets of anti-Zionism like the denial of Jewish rights to self-determination, are also considered manifestations of anti-Semitism.
The talk was scheduled to take place as part of a week of anti-Israel events expected to be held at universities nationwide.
This BDS-sponsored initiative is replete with lectures and protests that ostensibly aim to condemn Israel and its policies regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict. The annual series of events is generally held in February and March.
In a region of dictatorships and theocracies, Israel has established one of the most robust and free democracies in the world, safeguarding the rights of Jews, Muslims and Christians, and ensuring that its Arab citizens enjoy full and equal rights before the law. These crucial points are “overlooked” during Israel Apartheid Week.
“Universities across the UK have signed up to the government’s definition of antisemitism and have a duty of care to their Jewish students – and staff – to ensure that they do not feel intimidated or abused on campus,” North West Friends of Israel Co-chair Raphi Bloom said, welcoming the decision.